What Drives Me Crazy About Hiring Managers

Recently, I came across an article called “What Drives Me Nuts About Staffing Agencies”. I couldn’t help but think of the other side of the story. So, here are five profiles of hiring managers that have driven me crazy (and many of my staffing industry colleagues, I’m sure).

1. The Resume Hoarder: This manager thinks that candidates with a difficult to find skillset grow on trees. Although the unemployment rate for degreed professionals is less than 5%, he expects to see 10-15 candidates for a position. When working with this manager, you may begin to wonder if he just likes to interview. He wants to see countless candidates, and will talk to them, but never hires anyone.

Please, just pick someone. You are so busy because you will not hire someone to help you, and because you are always interviewing. Also, we are not lying when we tell you there is a talent shortage. As recruiters, it is our job to screen the candidates and provide you with only the best resumes (three resumes is a common expectation). We will save you time if you let us.

2. The Magician: The hiring manager expresses an urgent need, then disappears.  The hiring manager does not respond when well qualified candidates are submitted. He does not tell us he does not like these candidates; does not tell us the position has been filled; does not return phone calls or e-mails; does not respond to even his own HR team’s request for feedback. He has disappeared. Note that this can happen at any stage in the process, including after interviews, at which point it is most frustrating.

We know you are busy. At least take the time to tell us you don’t like the candidates. Better yet, tell us why, so we can better service your needs.
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How to Build Your STEM Pipeline and Engage the Next Generation of Engineers

Remember when you were a kid and you always said you’d never need math after high school? You might’ve jumped the gun a little bit. K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) classes are more important than ever before and not just for you but for your organization as well.

Join us this Wednesday June 20th at 2 pm EST for a webinar on how to utilize this critical talent pipeline before they even get to college. We’re also taking questions and comments to address at the end of the panel session so if you’ve got some experience working with this demographic or you have questions about best practices for tapping into this group then sound off in the comments below!

To hear the answer to your question live during this webinar session, register now. A recording of this program will also be available afterwards on adeccousa.com/webcasts.


Does Money Buy Happiness?

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” 

-John Lennon

The other day, one of my contractors gave his two weeks notice. He was leaving his relatively stable engineering job to go into business for himself, developing iPhone apps. It sparked a discussion over an eternal question: what does it mean to be successful? Does it mean to be happy, or to be rich? Or, are these two outcomes intertwined with one another?

In thinking back, I have seen a lot of people go through a lot of jobs.  Myself, I have had a job (an extremely low paying one) that I loved, and a job that paid twice as much that I couldn’t stand. What I have found is that if you love what you do, you will find a way to be successful. You will work harder, put more time in, think creatively and do what it takes to get things done.  Conversely, if you hate what you do, you will do what it takes to get by and get your paycheck, but you will feel unhappy and burnt out at the end of the day.

In looking at two associates with identical credentials in terms of education and experience, what is the difference between the two that causes one to outperform the other? The answer: motivation and an intrinsic drive to succeed; which are both derived from passion for one’s work.

Interestingly enough, according to the Motivation-Hygiene Theory, pay is not a motivating factor, but a hygiene factor. What this means is that if salary is not sufficient to satisfy basic needs, employees will be dissatisfied. However, Herzberg argued that increasing pay beyond the “adequate” level required will not increase motivation substantially.

Does this mean that we should underpay our employees? Absolutely not. However, it does mean that the other factors surrounding a job (recognition, opportunity for advancement, enjoying the work) could be more important than money.

In a materialistic society that praises wealth as a symbol of achievement, this notion can be difficult to accept. And of course, there are exceptions: some people can be happy doing almost anything as long as they are well compensated. There is no universal truth.

The bottom line: life is short. Do what you love, and do it well. Don’t let someone else, or society, create your definition of success.

Seven Ways To Improve The Interaction Between Job Seekers and Recruiters

Working in a service based industry, your reputation is everything. So if recruiters are relying solely on the candidate’s experience you would think all recruiters would follow certain guidelines of moral and ethical behavior that would allow them to be successful. Unfortunately recruiters get a bad wrap; a reputation of being self-centered and not providing the level of service that a candidate would expect. Are the job seeker’s expectations too high? This is a loaded question that has come up repeatedly over the past thirteen years that I have been in the industry.

You’ll never make everyone happy but here are seven ways that recruiters can change the perception that some people have:

1) How come recruiters never call me back: This is the #1 pet peeve that candidates have. The honeymoon is short lived as recruiters call candidates with passion and excitement only never to reach out to them again. At a bare minimum, recruiters need to re-connect with candidates within a certain time frame (established during their initial conversation with the job seeker) via email or phone–it’s 2012 after all!

2) Write clear and descriptive job descriptions: Bad input equals bad output. As a recruiter you need to take the time and effort to meet with the hiring manager and go over the specifics of the role. The copy and paste tactic will not get you far.

3) Take the time to learn the lingo: A lot of recruiters get a bad wrap for playing buzz word bingo on resumes. Take the time to learn the technology; from my experience candidates love to talk about technology and are more than willing answer questions.

4) Explain where you are in the recruiting process: You can be the best matchmaker in town but if you don’t divulge where you are in the recruiting cycle (interviews, how many resumes you have sent for review, potential offers on the table) expectations can be set too high.

5) Provide feedback: This can be a double-edged sword and managers might have negative things to say about candidates, but in order to build trust sometimes you have to provide constructive criticism that people may not want to hear.

6) Understand where the candidates are coming from: One of the hardest jobs an individual will have is finding a job. Candidates know that you are one of the many avenues that they can use to find a position and, at the same time, you have to be able to put yourself in their shoes.

7) Finally make sure you close the loop: Once you engage a candidate and go through the recruiting process with them “closing the loop” with each person is one of the basic tenets that all recruiters should follow.

How many of you have a set of rules you follow during the candidate life cycle? What do you think of these 7 tips?

Knowing How To Win and Learning How To Lose

Recruiting is like baseball; hit the ball with a small wooden bat 33% percent of the time and you are an all-star. You might fail the other 67% of the time but it will be your failures that you’ll learn from and eventually drive your success.

Everybody wants to win and while winning isn’t everything nobody goes into a situation and says, “How do I lose?  How do I make sure that I prep myself to fail?”  A lot of careers are based on wins and losses–it’s a numbers games (that will never change). Just as a batter lines up for a pitch, you go into any recruiting situation prepared to talk to a candidate, sell him on the job, get his resume reviewed and hit it out of the park every time you send it to the manager.
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What you should (and should not) ask a recruiter

When a recruiter calls you, you need to determine a few things: if you are qualified to do the job, if you’re interested in doing the job, what hoops you will need to jump through to get the job, and if there is any reason the job is open (i.e. is there an underlying problem with the position or company?).
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